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Bevin Administration Sues Planned Parenthood Over Abortion Services

Exterior of Planned Parenthood's Louisville health center.
Planned Parenthood's Kentucky centers remain open, providing care including wellness visits, birth control, emergency contraception and gender confirming hormone therapy. Planned Parenthood and EMW Women's Surgical Center are also helping patients connect with access to abortions in other states.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky seeking more than $900,000 in fines over abortions performed in recent months.

The Planned Parenthood branch began providing abortion services in Louisville in December. But Gov. Matt Bevin's administration said late last month that Planned Parenthood did not have a license and was providing abortions illegally. The Planned Parenthood branch has said it began offering abortion services with state approval, and that it was following the standard guidelines for obtaining a license.

In a statement Thursday, Bevin said:
“Although I am an unapologetically prolife individual, I recognize and accept that there are some laws on the books that I do not necessarily agree with. However, we are a nation of laws, and my job is to ensure that they are followed regardless of my personal opinion. This administration will have no tolerance for the type of brazen disregard that Planned Parenthood has shown for both the safety of women and the rule of law. We will hold Planned Parenthood accountable for knowingly endangering their patients by providing illegal abortions at a facility that was not properly licensed nor prepared to handle an emergency.”

The state ordered Planned Parenthood to halt abortion services late last month, a day after the organization announced it had begun providing abortions at the Louisville clinic.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said the state gave the organization approval to conduct abortions in emails received on Dec. 3 and Dec. 7, the day before Bevin was sworn in.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Planned Parenthood branch said:
PPINK followed longstanding protocol and received necessary authorization from the appropriate authority, the Office of Inspector General , to perform abortions at its facility while awaiting a site survey. All conditions for a survey to occur have been met. We ask that the executive branch continue the licensure process rather than continue to make politically motivated accusation.
In the complaint, the administration alleges that the organization’s documentation of an emergency hospital and ambulance service were “a complete sham.”

“They appear to have been supplied intentionally in order to mislead the Cabinet into granting a license or to persuade the Cabinet to permit Planned Parenthood to begin performing abortions even before a license was granted,” the complaint states.

The complaint also alleges that Maryellen Mynear, the former inspector general of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, “ignored or overlooked” the allegedly deficient abortion license application. The state said the previous administration erroneously told Planned Parenthood that abortion clinics could begin operations without a license.

“The reality, however, is that the Cabinet had never had such a policy relating to abortion facilities. Mynear’s actions ignored clear statutory law and were without authority,” the complaint states.

The Louisville branch provided 23 abortions in December and January.

This story has been updated.